This was my second car I bought but for all purposes this was my first car I fixed up and have kept to this day.
I purchased the car from a lady who lived just up the street from my parents house. She was the original owner and the car had been sitting for about a year when I bought it.
I bought the car when my parents were on vacation so it was kind of a funny story. I still had my old 72 Pinto when they left for vacation and they would call every day or so and check in with me. when they left I did not know about the car, but I found and bought it within two days of them leaving. the car was so sun faded it was a bright carnation pink color. this I could not live with so before I told them about my new car I painted it with a Mitsubishi bright red color. when they got home they found me with my new car in the driveway putting on all the new stuff I had bought for her.
I drove the wheels off of the little car. it was such a fun car to drive and so many people hate this little car, it fit me well. I woud cruise the mall and the downtown strip on Friday nights and get many looks because not many folks would fix up this tyoe of car. My big thing was electronics so I started adding the lights.I added two turn signal lights from a 76 Honda motorcycle behind the grill, its the orange ones. Then I added the two front KC yellow driving lamps to the underside of the front bumper. Along the top of the bumper I added some of these strip lights you find at the auto store for looks. you really cant make them out in the pics but it really looked good. I finished it all off with one of those motion lights like the Nightrider car had in my back window, when I hit the brakes it would flash outwards. you can see some of the work in the pictures above.
Then I added a stereo out of a Pontiac Sunbird, the Bose Delco system, it had a lot of power and bass, so much in fact that I decided to put 10" home speakers in the back. This was back in '89 and booming stereos weren't around yet for us so this was a major new thing. you could hear my car coming for a good while before i got there and I thought that was pretty cool.
This was my first attempt at painting flames.I have always loved the "flamed hotrod". I decided to paint the flames on because it was really different and my idea came from the fact I was getting many comments on how "Pintos just blow up all the time". that made me thinking, why not make it on fire already? HAHAHA, so I went to designing and painted my first set of flames. It was also at this time I updated my stereo to a Alpine CD player, Sony AMP and Cerwin Vega 10" speakers in the back, the old house speakers had really been cool for while but when the sound system stuff hit our area, I had to jump right in the mix and make one for myself. Also in the last picture was my only cat I had while living at home, his name was "Skeet" and he didnt live very long, was one of my animals I had while growing up. I loved that little cat and hated for him to go.
Anyways this style of the car lasted for a good while, one day I was on my way home, not really paying attention and I had this dump truck driver startle me around a sharp curve near my house. I swerved a bit too much and slammed into the guardrail, it just basically bounced off and was right back in the road, I didnt think it did much so I drove it on to the house to find out that it tore my fender almost off and ripped a chunk out of the door. pretty much sheet metal damage only so I bought a new door and fender from a junkyard and a put them on. I just didnt feel like taking the time to repaint the flames so I went different again.
For some reason,I thought it would look good "Chevy Hugger Orange",which it did for about 7 months,then it got very old,fast! It was at this time I was working as a patient escort for a nearby hospital on 3rd shift. I thought it looked wild in the glow of the parking lot lights because they were an orange color too, but it made the paint look like a neon yellow in the lights. I just couldnt take the orange after a while and had to repaint the car differently somehow and it had been enough time I decided to try the flames again.
The engine was replaced during the 7 months that the car was orange.The engine is a 170 cubic inch v6(yes v6!)which I modified somewhat by porting the heads and added a larger carburetor.Its not a street demon,but it does fine for me.
this is the short lived 2nd flame job that I did.I had to repaint after the paint went bad in four months.This was due to the fact I painted in October and it wasnt but a month later we had a freeze and it did something to the paint that made it crack all over. I really hated that because this took a long time to produce and it was a great look for the car. Had it not been for the problems with the paint this would be what it would look like today. I would've redone the job but painting flames on this scale takes awhile to tape/prep/spray so I just went another direction
This was the begining work on the Fifith Paint job I did to the car. I first had decided I was going to go back white and I wanted to do it complete, so I pulled the engine,reworked the wiring harness, and painted all the firewall underhood areas with white enamel.
This was what I ended up with. of course it didnt look this way for long, I left it in this form for about 2 weeks before outlining the flame design, and this time it was going to be a slight change from what I had done before
Here was that "slight change ". I wanted to try and keep the previous problem at bay so I reverse shot this one, the "flames" were the base color of the entire car and the red was sprayed over that.
I put the car up for sale in late 2005 and advertised it on the web and local papers. I didnt have any lookers for about a year. Then there was this fellow from Virginia who answered one of my online ads and really wanted the car from the pictures. I described it the best way I knew how and he came down to Tennessee. What I didnt know at the time was that he was an inspection official for the state of Virginia, this normally wouldnt matter, I was only asking $600 for the car as it sat. the guy had a huge pickup truck pulling a full length trailer, I cant imagine how much money in gas he spent getting here. He looks over the car and then proceeds to tell me how illegal the car is! He tells me if I lived in Virginia he would have fined me for violating the law of Virginias emissions. this guy was so full of himself it wasnt funny. But I didnt let myself go off on it, I just waited out the conversation. He said in no way would he buy it and I should have it crushed. so he left and the feeling he left with me lingered for a few days after. I decided I was pulling the ads and keeping the car. I am currently in the process of completing all of my other projects and this will be a father and son project down the road.
I painted the car in mid 2005 and this is how it looks right now. This is how the previous guy from Virginia saw the car. I guess all cars in Virginia are perfect, mines not perfect and besides I wouldnt have wanted him to own the car anyways, she's too good for him! haha.
I hope to add more pics later in the future when we start on the full restore on the car.